Guest Author: Lauren Blandin
Doctors often suggest practicing yoga while going through fertility treatments or as an alternative to other forms of exercise during treatment, however many doctors and even long time yoga practitioners are uninformed as to what style of yoga is most conducive for those seeking fertility treatments or who have had difficulty getting pregnant.
A restorative sequence that uses relatively simple postures, supported with props and held for a longer period of time helps to turn on the “rest and digest” portion of the nervous system, enabling you to find a sense of calm, ease and support during this special and exciting time. Supporting the poses with props sends a signal to your brain to “let go”, enabling you to experience a deep level of fortification and relaxation. This, coupled with the introduction of slow, methodical breathing, allows you to explore the inner workings of your mind and body, working together as one, which for many, can feel fragmented and disconnected if they are under stress or have been prodded with instruments and devices, leading to a feeling of separation from one’s body in an effort to conceive.
Learning to practice in this way can feel difficult, especially if your regular speed is go or if you know you need to modify your regular exercise practice to accommodate the changes in your body during fertility treatments. A willingness to remain open and curious will serve as the launching pad for the beauty that will unfold down this path. Yoga, in all of its different forms, enables us to use the body as a vehicle to go inside and pay attention. When we begin to pay attention, we begin to create space, not just in our physical body, but even more importantly, in our mind. The physical benefits are many and working in this manner helps us to viscerally experience the virtues of kindness, compassion, forgiveness, humility and impermanence.
Whether you practice Fertility Yoga or not, know that you know your body best and are able and capable to make decisions that will be most conducive to you along the way. Trust yourself. Listen to what you need. Enjoy and have fun on the journey.
Lauren Blandin has been a student of yoga since 2002 and has a background in Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga and Vipassana meditation. Blandin is currently completing prerequisites to obtain a Master’s Degree as a Physician Assistant. She leads classes and courses that are dynamic and challenging and are balanced with both effort and ease, strength and flexibility, and of course, a sense of humor.